A few weeks back, social giant Facebook announced that U.S. users would soon be able to send money to each other via the company’s Messenger app. Facebook is just the latest social platform to enter the peer-to-peer (P2P) payment space in the U.S., joining SnapChat’s SnapCash service, and the more established payments cabal of Venmo, PayPal, and Square.
“The challenge is that we need to educate Canadians that they should be expecting more.”
Vancouver-based startup Payso recently jumped into the P2P payment space, offering Android and iPhone users the ability to send money to friends and family via text or the Payso app. In an interview with BetaKit that can be heard below, Payso CEO Jake Tyler explained that mobile phones are “the most obvious choice” to lead a disruption in how we spend money.
“Ultimately we’re trying to replace cash and coins in your wallet and the only way we’re going to replace that is with your phone,” he said.
The reasons are twofold. First, mobile devices are already or easily tied into a user’s payment information. They also contain that user’s social graph.
“You’ll be buying stuff through social media in the future,” Tyler said. “Social [payment] is about integrating with places where you’re already sharing, and the other element is sharing payments: sharing money with other people. We’re looking to be the sharing money platform and Payso is a product built on that platform.”
While Payso faces stiff competition in the U.S., Tyler spoke about the opportunities in a Canadian market lagging behind in FinTech innovation.
“The challenge is that we need to educate Canadians that they should be expecting more, and the opportunity is that banks are very slow movers in Canada,” he said. “In digital products, you can win the whole market. Banks can’t win the whole market.”
That doesn’t mean Payso is content to just play in Canada. A recently added HIGHLINE portfolio company, Tyler explained that the accelerator’s no-cohort approach and international connections made it a sensible fit.
“Ultimately, we have global ambitions.”
Disclosure: BetaKit’s East and West Coast offices are housed in HIGHLINE’s Vancouver and Toronto co-working spaces.